Getting their “VIBee” on – Michael Robertson

http://techcrunch.com/2015/08/10/bumble-introduces-vibee-a-verification-feature-independent-of-your-social-status/

Just when we thought dating apps couldn’t get any better! Bumble, a familiar dating app, is offering a new feature called VIBee. This feature allows users to be identified on their profile as a VIBee users, giving them a whole new database of users to swipe away at. In order to get this feature, a request has to be sent from your account to Bumble, users have to have been active on the Bumble platform in order to get access to this new feature. The application uses an algorithm to determine if a user is active enough on the application to be accepted as an exclusive VIBee. Once a VIBee member users have an exclusive database that they are able to browse through. This feature advertises  the chances of a real connection are much higher as the “time wasters” have been removed from the database that a VIBee user would swipe through.

 

What do you guy’s think of this new “exclusive” feature offered by Bumble, and could this new VIBee tag lead to users being judged for such active participation on these dating apps?

Adrianna D. – How Dating Apps Have Only Made Our Sex, Love and Dating Lives Better

Stocksy_txp91780431ibi000_Small_411001.jpg

Today’s generation is all about online dating and even more so, dating apps. Apps such as Tinder and Bumble have gained much recognition over the last year and have become the most common method of meeting people and going on dates. This particular article claims that dating apps have only made our sex, love and dating lives better.

Nothing is more fun than sharing your dating stories with your friends, both the horrendous and amazing ones, so the mentality for most is – why not do it for fun? For the stories and experiences? In addition, utilising apps eliminates the pressure of having to meet someone in person; it eliminates the ‘what-if’ questions that run through everyones minds, such as “what if he or she has a girlfriend or a boyfriend?”, “what if he or she rejects me?”, what if, what if… Instead of having to build up the courage, one can sit on their couch in their most comfortable clothing, sip on tea, and swipe left or right without having to walk up to the individual and initiate conversation. It isn’t uncommon to give or receive compliments from others, thus raising one’s self-esteem as well. In many cases, people who take part in online dating meet others who they may not have necessarily thought would be their type.

Dating apps have made meeting others significantly easier. Although there are many advantages, there are also a number of disadvantages that come with meeting people through the use of technology. Is the person real? Is he or she sincere? Is this safe? There will always be controversies, but due to the increasing popularity and dependence on technologies, more and more apps will continue to be launched. Who knows what’s next…

http://elitedaily.com/dating/dating-apps-lives-better/1304680/

 

Fallout 4 Drops Pornhub Traffic- Michael Robertson

Over the weekend I found a rather interesting article regarding the much anticipated video game release “Fallout 4”. According to Googles affinity data Fallout had reduced internet traffic to PornHub by nearly 10%, this is an enormous drop for a website such as Pornhub with over 60 million daily users accessing its content. The popularity of and release of a game such as Fallout 4 clearly shows that it can have huge effect on the flow of digital life.  This goes to show the sheer immersion of Individuals within the virtual words of their games.

 

http://www.pornhub.com/insights/fallout-4-release-traffic

Rochelle S – Dating Strangers Online …and FILMING IT

I stumbled upon this YouTube series in which a girl names Alyx uses various apps and websites to meet potential dates and then films her dates with these people. There are many layers to this series – the use of the apps to connect with others, the filming of the dates, the publishing of the date videos on a YouTube channels that gets hundreds of thousands of views, and the community of people that engage using a specific hashtag. Through this, I considered ideas of digital intimacy, community, and online identity.

I linked the series here for educational purposes…also because it is hilariously addicting. Enjoy!

Victoria E – What’s Your Sex Number?

http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/whats-your-sex-number

Someone posted earlier about BuzzFeed quizzes in general, but today I stumbled across a very interesting one entitled “What’s Your Sex Number?” They call it “the ultimate ‘purity test’ for the modern age.” The quiz is essentially just one long game of “never have I ever” to be played alone; you simply check off what you have done on a big list of intimate or sexual acts, and the quiz tells you how sexual you are based on a number out of 200. It also gives you some kind of adjective to describe your sexuality based on the score you get.

It’s interesting that technologies, like some of the ones we discussed in class this week that had been posted on the blog (like Funderwear), have become so interconnected with sex lives. Shouldn’t we know “how sexual” or what kind of sexual we are without needing a BuzzFeed quiz to tell us? And why do we feel the need to classify our sexuality in this way anyway? Finding out which celebrity should be our BFF through these quizzes is understandable, because it’s fun, arbitrary, and makes us feel connected in some way to others. However, I feel that doing a quiz about our sexual experience may be crossing a bit of a line. The other thing it makes you think is, is someone storing this information somewhere based on every box you click? Scary.

Victoria E – Why You Should Delete Snapchat

Article: http://adammclane.com/2013/08/22/why-you-should-delete-snapchat/

Like many others in this class and in our generation, I am an avid user and fan of the Snapchat app. It’s a fun way to send pictures and short videos back and forth to friends without waiting for large files to transfer, and you can set a time limit no longer than 10 seconds for your friends to view your photos. This creates an illusion of privacy, because the photo can only be seen by the intended receiver (unless they have someone right beside them) and they cannot retrieve it later to view again or show someone else. If they screenshot your image, you get a notification, so you know when they’ve intentionally kept the photo you sent them.

The aspect of sexuality that this article mentions is very interesting as well. He explains that Snapchat was made as a safer way to sext. Obviously, it can be argued that there is no way to make sexting safe, because it involves mediating a sexual relationship through technology, which is never truly private. Like Berlant discusses, intimacy has a public aspect because what we consider public and private are closely connected and subjective.

The app surely has an impact on real-life relationships, both positively and negatively. Here is just one example of each:

  •  Negative: Snapchat gives users the ability to view people’s “Best Friends”, letting you know who is sending Snaps back and forth most often. Imagine how easy would be for a lovers’ quarrel to start over the fact that one partner has an ex or a “friend” as their #1 Best Friend instead of their current significant other. All made worse by the fact that the images disappear, so there is no way to prove what kind of content was being sent.
  • Positive: On the other hand, being able to see someone’s face (Snapchat selfies), or what they are doing, regularly through images could be great for a long-distance relationship, especially if country borders and cellular fees prevent traditional texting or calling.

The author of the article stresses that there is no such thing as privacy, anonymity, or impermanency in digital media, only the perception of these things. This is made even more interesting by what was posted below by Cassandra R: the fact that Snapchat was hacked recently, exposing access to millions of user accounts. This article was posted before that scandal occurred, and even after some of our fears were challenged, not a single one of my friends disabled their Snapchat account (and, admittedly, neither did I).

After reading this article, which makes several valid points, are you persuaded to delete your account?